Representatives of over fifty African researchers, research institutions, think tanks and policy makers and their Chinese counter parts held an international conference facilitated by the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA).
The Conference was held in Nairobi, Kenya, on 28-29 March 2011.
Attended also by African and Chinese policy makers, including a high level official delegation from China, it was opened by the Honorable Professor Peter Anyang’ Nyongo’, Kenya’s Minister for Medical Services.
The Conference is a contribution to the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) of African researchers, research institutions, universities, Think tanks and it comes as a follow up to the Beijing Conference of March 29-30, 2010, organized by the Institute of West-Asian and African Studies (IWAAS) of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), and a response to the launching of the Joint China-Africa Research Cooperation and Academic Exchange Programme.
African researchers, research institutions, universities, think tanks, policy makers and participants affirmed their commitment to nurturing and supporting research cooperation and academic exchange on China-Africa relations, and on other regions. The Participants also discussed how to create strong foundations for an effective African participation in FOCAC’s inspired Joint Africa-China Research Cooperation and Academic Exchange Programme and discuss future directions, institutional frameworks and instruments for engaging the Joint Africa-China Research Cooperation and Academic Exchange Programme.
In order to develop a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges and strengthen China-Africa cooperation, the participants debated the current state of affairs. They also discussed the constraints which may stand on the way of leveraging the Joint Africa-China Research Cooperation and Academic Exchange Programme.
African Forum for Study and Research on China and Africa-China Relations
The conference agreed to create an African Forum for Study and Research on China and Africa-China Relations.
The Chinese participants in the conference welcome the opportunity to engage such a forum.
Elements of a research agenda have been identified by the African participants who resolved to create a forum (a knowledge platform) on the study and research on China and Africa-China relations.
African research institutions and think leaders, researchers, experts on China-Africa Relations have resolved to establish an African Forum for Study and Research on China and China-Africa Relations. The Forum aims at fostering pan-African collaborative research and long-term investment in research capacities on the topic.
The Forum is predominantly academic and research oriented. This includes also intellectuals and think tanks. The forum is feeding into the political process leading to provide policy advice to and engage with Africa policy-makers, the AU, other regional institutions, sub-regional organizations, and people-to-people organizations. Knowledge creation and subsequent policy dialogue on issues related to Africa – China relations will be given high priority.
The Forum’s priorities include: an inventory of a) publications, b) researchers, institutions and think tanks working on China-Africa relations and c) research programmes.
The Forum will coordinate the responses of African researchers, research institutions, universities, and think tanks to the Joint China-Africa Research Cooperation and Academic Research Programme. It will attempt to bundle these and strive to participate in the 2012 FOCAC meeting in China.
The Forum will engage with African Governments, regional and sub-regional organizations to invest in research and academic exchange in China-Africa relations and cooperation programmes.
The Provisional Steering Committee (PSC), established during the Beijing Conference in March 2010, is transformed into a Steering Committee (SC). It is mandated to develop the structures and institutional mechanisms of the forum and it may co-opt up to 4 additional members whose selection should be based on the following criteria:
CODESRIA is mandated to lead this effort, in conjunction with the SC, and in consultation with the African research institutions, universities, and think tanks leaders, researchers and experts present at the Nairobi Conference.
The Conference expressed its gratitude to:
Hon. Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyongo’ and the Kenyan Government
H.E. the Chinese Ambassador in Kenya and the Chinese Government
The Open Society Institute
The World Wildlife Fund
The Inter Region Economic Network (IREN)
The members of the provisional steering committee, and
For more information about the African Forum for Study and Research on China and China-Africa Relations, please contact:
The Executive Secretary
Avenue Cheikh Anta Diop, X Canal IV
BP 3304, CP 18524,Dakar, Senegal
Email: executive.secretary codesria.sn